Jose’s jump from manufacturing in Mexico to healthcare entrepreneurship in Hong Kong
In the world of MBAs, the so-called “triple jump” is one of the biggest challenges for graduates. It means changing job location, industry, and function after your MBA. It’s the kind of career change that would normally be near-impossible. But, such is the power of an MBA.
We spoke to Jose Manuel Rodriguez Moreno from Mexico, who completed the MBA program at the University of Hong Kong, which is one of the top-ranked MBAs in Asia. Having worked in the manufacturing sector in Mexico prior to the MBA, Jose has since launched a new career in Hong Kong – in a totally new industry.
“I went from manufacturing to becoming an entrepreneur in healthcare,” he says. “Now I’m a bridge for businesses between Hong Kong and Mexico and have become an ally for companies that want to become more sustainable.” (01:36)
However, it takes a lot more than an MBA to manage the triple jump. In Jose’s case, he formed a close bond with an HKU alumnus, who was generous enough to support him and give him advice on his job search.
“An alumnus was very kind to receive a weekly call from me. In this call, he helped me much more than he thinks he did,” he sas. “Every week I would call him and explain what I had done the previous week to find a job. This kept me brainstorming and finding new ideas and people to meet.” (02:20)
How Chloe switched from accounting in China to a career in banking in Hong Kong
In some cases, your choice of study location can have a direct impact on your future career. Chloe Huang had previously worked in the accounting industry in her native China, but decided to study in Hong Kong to attempt her own triple jump.
“In 2019, I decided to pursue an MBA at the University of Hong Kong,” she says. “Now, I’m an Executive Management Associate at DBS Bank in Hong Kong. My MBA helped me change location, industry, and role in my career.” (00:31)
Chloe’s choice of Hong Kong as a study destination was an important one. It is one of the world’s leading financial centers and has a thriving banking industry. Although she has a background in accounting, studying in Hong Kong put Chloe in the perfect place to break into banking.
“I found my current job via the referral of the career development and training team,” she explains. “One of my old classmates, who used to work in the banking industry, helped me do a mock interview. There are also a lot of HKU alumni in the banking industry, so before I started my current role I could reach out to them for advice.” (01:51)
Sam’s journey from government relations in the USA to fintech project management in Hong Kong
When Sam Greenwood’s second semester of his MBA was curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he might have cursed his luck. Luckily, a silver lining emerged from the gloom – and smoothed the way for him to make his own triple jump.
”I was introduced to my current company, Cryptoblock, at a meet-and-greet event that our class was invited to. The careers department helped me set up an interview which led to an internship. When COVID hit, my semester abroad got canceled, so I decided to apply for a full-time job at Cryptoblock,” he explains. (00:56)
Sam got the job, and his MBA triple jump arrived when he least expected it. It was only because of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 that meant he could make the move into fintech so quickly. However, he also believes that the pandemic had a knock-on effect on the job market in Asia, giving an advantage to local job applicants like him.
“I think if you’re in Asia, getting a job here is very likely. The global pandemic has effectively eliminated international competition in the local job market, so getting on the ground knocking on doors is much more of an advantage now during the pandemic than it is during normal times,” he states. (02:50)
On his triple jump, Sam adds, “I definitely expected to change at least one, maybe two of these attributes, but I thought all three was a stretch.” (01:20)
How you can do an MBA triple jump
So, how can you change location, industry, and function after your MBA?
It’s important to choose a school in a country (or continent) where you want to launch a new career afterward. Because every business school retains close links with the local business community, the careers team can connect you with local job opportunities that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. As we saw with Sam, being “on the ground” can give you an advantage over applicants from outside the country.
The location of your MBA also influences the industry you work in after your program. Chloe chose Hong Kong because of its strong banking industry. This allowed her to launch her career in banking post-graduation. It’s all about finding the school and program that helps you achieve your career goals. If those goals mean making the MBA triple jump, you’ve got to find a program that will help you do it.